I had gone to visit someone I considered an old friend who I had not seen for some years. She lived thirty minutes away from me, in a high-rise a few blocks away from the Hudson River. At around 4, her boyfriend and two other men came over, and we all began to partake of an illicit substance.
When he walked through the door, her boyfriend was quiet as a ghost. He relegated himself to the corner. Angela herself sat to my right. To my left sat an Indian man, who was the building’s super. One heavy set man, whose name I cannot remember, was on the floor, and another man nicknamed Pudy placed himself next to Angela on her right.
As we passed whatever it was around, Pudy told us that when he was younger, he would trap and lick his girlfriends against their will, and force them to have intercourse with him. He told me about his current relationship, which was on the rocks. He was angry that his current girlfriend was unwilling to reciprocate. I could tell that he thought of himself as an Adonis, the world’s gift to women, but above all, he had no respect for women. The heavy set man frequently interjected in the middle of Pudy’s stories with his own jibes and informed me that Pudy was a story teller, good liar, and a womanizer. I also knew, within the first five minutes, that Pudy was a drug dealer.
The conversation weaved in and out and I turned to have an intimate moment with Angela. Suddenly, she began talking about my sister, how voluptuous she was, how much she had grown, and asked me if she was now in highschool. “No,” I replied, “She’s still only twelve, and she’s in the seventh grade.” Angela got me to start talking about how pretty my sister was. I told her what school she had been going to, and on a sudden, I became quite apprehensive about her enthusiasm over my sister’s looks and well-being, and about all the questions she had begun to ask me. I peered over her shoulder, and it seemed as if Pudy the womanizer could have been listening. Was this conversation engineered? Did she want to make manifest a situation in which the womanizer would feel compelled to seduce and chase after my sister? Or was I being entirely paranoid? After all, he was a drug dealer, and if he knew where to find my sister, anything could happen.
As she kept asking me about my sister’s whereabouts, my voice began to falter. It was as if she could smell the hint of fear and could follow it as if it were a piece of string that guided her through a maze. She walked with a club to the center of my being, and it hurt. But somehow, she could tell by my apprehension that I was catching on to her game.
She slit her eyes very narrowly, and with an even tinier voice, said… “and she still lives between so and so, in front of the pharmacy and the corner store?”
She was relaying to him all the information he needed to hear, so that, if it struck his fancy, he would be able to find her. I was in utter shock, horror, and disbelief. “Yes…” I answered, in the smallest voice I could muster.